Cover Image: Death by Demo

Death by Demo

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this short mystery. I think that the characters maybe could have been fleshed out a bit more, but other than that, it was a wonderful cozy mystery.

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I had an immediate, visceral dislike of this book. I understand the cozy mystery formula very well at this point, but I feel our heroines are getting more and more bitter. I do not want to spend time with this women.

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I enjoyed this cozy mystery, it was an easy read.
The narrator did a good job.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter was a great easy listen. Even though it was a murder mystery, it was easy to get into the story and not heavy.

Jamie was one half of one of North Carolina's most successful construction and interior design companies until she caught her husband cheating. Due to an ironclad prenup, she is left with a dilapidated house that was going to be their next project. She is determined to pick herself and do the flip herself. All of her plans are put on hold when a body is found in one of her walls. Jamie does all she can to help find the killer and not become the next victim so that she can get back to business.

Thank you NetGalley for my copy of the audiobook. All opinions are my own. #DeathByDemo #CallieCarpenter #NetGalley #DreamscapeMedia

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I just finished reading an amazing cozy mystery book that I would love to share with you. The book follows Jaime, a newly divorced woman who starts her own home renovation business after her ex-husband takes their previous business in the divorce. While renovating a house, Jaime discovers a dead body hidden behind a wall. Instead of just relying on the police, Jaime decides to investigate herself to reclaim her house and find peace of mind.

During the investigation, Jaime goes about her daily routine, meets new neighbors, deals with her ex-husband, befriends a vagabond cat, and learns to love herself as a newly single woman. The story is easy to follow, fresh, sweet, and offers a nice little mystery without being too intense. There is no police procedural element to the story, but Jaime is in contact with a detective and creates a spreadsheet to piece together clues. She's not trying to become a detective, she just wants to solve the murder in her house and feels responsible for the victim since she found the body.

The budding romance that you can see coming and the relationship between Jaime and her father are also sweet additions to the story. Overall, it's a great weekend read- short, sweet, and straightforward. I'm sure you'll love it just as much as I did!

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Thank you Dreamscape Media for allowing me to read and review Death by Demo on NetGalley.

Published: 12/05/23

Narrator: Cindy Kay

Stars: 5

This is book 1 in the Home Renovation Mystery series. I see a lasting relationship with myself, the author and this cozy series. The story flowed really well.

The characters held their individual roles perfectly. I found the main character resourceful with her crime solving. She was recently divorced and had realistic issues, but not over the top. I didn't have any cringe moments like I do with a lot of cozy mysteries. The author worked out the murder with the cast and it flowed naturally.

Cindy Kay did a fantastic job.

I would recommend this for young teens moving out of middle grade into young adult books to older adults, and everyone in between. The read was fast, clean, clever and enjoyable.

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It’s always fun to catch a new series at the beginning. Jaime has recently divorced due to her husband’s infidelity and she is starting over again. Thanks to a bad prenup all she has for the years she spent working with her husband in their construction company is one very rundown house. She decides to go ahead and renovate rather than sell it as is. But of course, when she knocks down one of the interior (non-structural) walls, she finds a corpse. When the cops designate her house a crime scene, she decides she has to figure out who the killer is as soon as possible so she can get back to work on the project.

The mystery is put together well. We’ve got several suspects and a couple of the clues are right up Jaime’s alley. Jaime is a good character, rediscovering herself and finding her strengths. She also knows everyone in town, which makes it easier for her to ask questions and put theories together. She also gains a cat even though she’s always thought of herself as a dog person.

I listened to the audio and the narrator did a great job of making Jaime and the people around her come to life. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

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I enjoyed this cozy mystery set in the world of home renovation! Home reno is not something I personally enjoy, but I do enjoy reading about it! This book is a great palate cleanser between heavier books.

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.

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Fantastic start for A Home Renovation Mystery series. Easy to get into, fast paced, cozy mystery. This will definitely be a series I'll look forward to.

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I love a good cozy mystery. they're my jam. its like my brains soft place to land. This one is a good one. I love the idea of a female carpenter as a FMC. it really is right up my alley. I can't wait to read more in this series!

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A cozy mystery with Jamie and her renovating the house she got in her divorce.
She finds a body hidden in a wall that when after gets crazy.
Good mystery,suspense,fun,and possible romance.
Love the cat., . Great narration.
Voluntarily reviewed.

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Death by Demo
(A Home Renovation Mystery #1)
Callie Carpenter
Jamie and Henry fell in love in high school; they married young and began a successful construction and interior design company in Charlotte, North Carolina. All was well until Jamie caught her husband with another woman. The divorce did not go in Jamie’s favor due to a prenuptial agreement. They only thing Jamie received was a historical house that needed a lot of work. It would take a lot of money to put the house to rights, money that Jamie did not have. But the house had great potential. Then Jamie found a body sealed in the wall of the house. Jamie was determined to find out who was the victim as well as who committed the murder. Then there were the how and the why. Jamie and her new cat, Demo, as well has the handsome neighbor work together to answer all the questions.
I love this book and look forward to the next one in the series.

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A fun cozy mystery! Kept me interested and into the story. I really liked the narrator and the plot.

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Really great start to a series and can’t wait to continue with it. Quirky characters and liked how the mystery unfolded.

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Death by Demo is the first in a series about a woman - Jaime who has just gone through a divorce and doesn't have much left to her due to a prenup she signed, designed by her wily father-in-law.

However Jaime does have one thing or more - she is left with a run down old house that she can renovate and sell on perhaps. She has been in the renovation business with her husband and is very skilled and resourceful.

Unfortunately she begins her renovation with a bit of demo that reveals a desiccated body. This halts all work on the house because it's a crime scene.  And not to be too long delayed Jaime sets about doing a bit of investigation herself. Along the way she acquires a cat she names Demo and a neighbor who turns up with coffee frequently.

Her investigation leads to a climax that is nail biting - but remember I said Jaime is very resourceful and soon the killer is revealed. 

I enjoyed this audiobook version of the book, it was really well narrated by Cindy Kay and I especially liked her male voices. The story was well paced, I liked Jaime and it was so good to see her moving on with her life.

If you like a good cozy mystery with an old house that has promise then do read it - or better still if you like a good audiobook, make that choice. I will look forward to #2 in the series.

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The crumbling Queen Ann and her original investment is all Jaime has to show for 15 years of marriage and work designing homes with her cheating ex. Something about the house speaks to Jaime and she decides this will be her first solo renovation project. With her long-time bestie Laura at her side, Jaime brings down a poorly-placed later-addition wall - and the body hidden within it. Jaime and Laura decide to investigate, because suspects are limited to people with keys to the house, and that includes her ex.

This novel is perfect if you like renovation shows and cozy mysteries. There are plenty of details about starting a restoration. An interesting new guy at the hardware store provides a possible romantic interest and I enjoyed Jaime’s relationship with the cat Demo. The small town and its characters are enhanced by narrator Kay’s warm delivery. This is a world I’d be happy to revisit. Recommended.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy of the audiobook. All opinions expressed are my own.

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After divorcing construction god, Henry, the only option left for Jamie is to renovate the run-down historic home; the only thing she got in the divorce. Thanks to an iron clad prenup, that's all she walked away with, so her options were limited.

Discovering a dead body during the demo has Jamie questioning everyone she thought she could trust, and Jamie finds herself on a mission to find out who is behind the murder.

A fun and original back story to this thriller, I enjoyed listening to every minute it of it! The narrator did a wonderful job giving personality to the characters. I was quite surprised with the twist at the end, I will definitely be looking to pick up another Callie Carpenter read in the future.

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This is the first in a new series. Jaime is starting over post divorce from her narcissist ex-husband and horrible ex-FIL. She is left with nothing except the worst most run down broken house that the successful construction and interior design company they ran together. She only got the house as her ex couldn’t sell it and thought she’d fail at the renovation miserably. She had faith in herself and knew she could handle it. Until she finds a dead body hidden in a wall. Yikes! She doesn’t want to wait for the potentially lengthy police investigation so she begins to sleuth around. As she lives in a small town, everyone that has ever come into contact with the victim becomes a suspect. Turns out she is not only good at home renovation and design, but she has some great detective skills as well. Nice cast of characters and a satisfying ending. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Upgraded to 4 stars from what would have been a 3.5 rating if half stars were available

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Review: This is a cute cozy mystery, but after listening to a thriller novel I felt this was a little corny. The audio was engaging but the narrated annoyed me often with her dramatic lines.
Recommended For: Cozy mystery fans.

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Death by Demo is the first book in the Home Renovation series. Callie Carpenter introduces readers to Jamie, a newly divorced renovation and safety specialist in North Carolina. Jamie’s family and business partners think she’s taking on too much by renovating the house she gained in her divorce. But during a demolition, a body is discovered. Jaime, her ex husband, her new neighbor, and people she’s grown up with are all considered suspects in the murder of the woman found inside Jaime’s walls. Jaime must figure out who’s lying to her and who she can trust before the detective assigned to the case can. Because…..everyone in this small town is VERY nose-er um inquisitive.

I listened to the audio version of this book and Cindy Kay can do no wrong in my eyes. She breathes absolute life into the characters she narrates. I can always grasp a good sense of the cast with her. But in the this book, I’m sure it wasn’t difficult as it’s written with so much charm.

When I read mysteries, I always treat it as a game for myself. Will I be able to figure out who committed the crime? It wasn’t so clear cut in Death by Demo.

I’m excited to read more from this series and learn more about the characters and small town.

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